Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s all in your head?” Well, it most certainly is! If you can’t get your head straight, how will you be able to achieve goals when it comes to health and fat loss? Think about it, where do the stress, tension, fatigue, and negative thoughts that we play in our heads daily actually come from?
It’s all in our heads, meaning our subconscious or conscious thoughts. That’s why meditation will be one of the most important recommendations in this book. When you start to control your thoughts, you’ll have more willpower, less stress, more energy, and/or enhance your quality of sleep. In reality, there is nothing that you can’t get BETTER at.
What do you think the first step of change is? You guessed it.
Creating awareness about how you are thinking. How can you change anything if you’re not constantly aware that you need to change? Also, how can you change if ou don’t put your energy toward a specific response?
As Karl Moore, the creator of the ZEN12 meditation program, explained, “The benefits of meditation are astonishing. Over 3,000 scientific studies at independent universities and research institutes since 1970 have studied this phenomenon, with staggering results.”2
Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Happiness Hypothesis, reveals the answer. “Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all-natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It’s called meditation.”1
Clear Your Mind
For thousands of years, people of all religious and philosophical points of view have practiced meditation, including most world leaders. Meditation’s primary side effect is becoming more present and aware in every one of our daily reactions. It’s this clear thinking that helps us to be less judgmental, more reactive, more compassionate, and calmer so that we can perform powerfully in life.
Through this heightened awareness, we have the ability to disengage from our strong attachments to negative thoughts and beliefs, which we have been exposed to throughout our lives.
For example, it might be perfectly normal for you to unwind from a stressful day with a couple of glasses of wine because your parents did the same thing. Not only is that unhealthy, but it will also not help you to reach your goals of becoming a better you; in fact, it just might give you a wine headache in the morning!
Suddenly, seeing this, we realize that this was something that was implanted in our subconscious as children. Now that we are aware of this problem, we can change it.
Bill Harris explains in his book, Thresholds of the Mind, that the brain is divided into two hemispheres. The problem is that the mind has a built-in duality, which causes a type of communication problem, brain lateralization, which forces you to see the world as two separate unities. The more one-sided a person’s brain is, the more issues they have. The issues include feelings of fear, anxiety, separation, isolation, and addiction. Bill notes that long-term studies indicate that meditation actually balances the brain3! Think of taking an unbalanced scale and finally evening it out – wouldn’t you feel better seeing that?
In the book, The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigals explains that you will receive heightened willpower from meditation, which in turn increases your odds for success in life.
Willpower, not intelligence, is the blueprint for being extremely successful!
Willpower outperforms IQ by a factor of two. She states, “Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but at a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and people who meditate regularly aren’t just better at these things. Over time, their brains become finely tuned willpower machines. Regular meditators have more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, as well as regions of the brain that support self-awareness4.”
*Gray matter: The section of the brain involved in learning and memory procedures, emotional directive, self-referential managing, and perspective-taking.5
Still not sold? Take the 8-week study on meditation where participants meditated for 12 to 15 minutes daily, which revealed that meditation actually changed the genetic expression in 2,209 genes6!
Therefore, meditation has even crossed over into what was called the human genome project. This study is at the forefront of what we know as “epigenetics." To put this in regular English, it is the confirmation that we all have a genetic disposition, but you can positively or negatively change the way that your genetics reacts to your environment. This just proves that meditation enhances all the good!
Strengthen Stress Management
Meditation is also critical for stress management as it allows us to get out of the “stew” of modern-day stresses. When you are stressed (AKA in fight or flight mode), your blood goes to your extremities rather than to your brain and digestive system.
When your digestive system, the main passage to health and immunity, is compromised in this way, unfriendly toxins can enter your body and lead to disease. Additionally, when your blood is drawn away from your brain while stressed, thinking becomes harder. So using meditation to get out of a stressed state will allow us to think clearly and increase the proficiency of our immune system!
Even ABC News reported, “Several studies suggest that changes through meditation can make you happier, less stressed-even nicer to other people. It can help you control eating habits and even reduce chronic pain, all the while without taking prescription medications."
The last time I checked, being happy is priceless, just like that one credit card.
There are so many ways to meditate, but let’s start slow and simple. I all begin here in your head!
At Jack Kunkel’s Alternative Medicine, we use innovative testing procedures to determine the root cause of your health issues and then work with you to come up with a safe, effective, and holistic treatment plan that’s customized to suit your body.